Charleston Restaurant Week — that twice yearly push to lure diners to venues during the slow months — begins tomorrow. And for this latest round, Jan. 7-18, more than 140 restaurants are participating. 

But the new angle here is that instead of the static $20, $30, or $40 prix fixe menu options, this time Greater Charleston Restaurant Association is allowing restaurants more flexibility and the choice of offering multiple menus. For instance, Al Di La has three options:
1) 3 courses for $22
2) 3 courses for $32
3) 4 courses for $42

Others, like the Gin Joint, have opted to give diners a cocktail and food pairing deal. For $10, you have a choice between four different cocktail and appetizer pairings such as a King Cotton cocktail (Plantation 3 Star rum, lemongrass, Pomelo Oleo, Pomelo juice, lime, Arrack) with hoison glazed pork sliders, or, say, the Lincoln Green cocktail (Gin, Dolin Dry, Imbue Bittersweet, Lillet Blanc, lemon, basil, Dandelion Burdock Bitters) with ricotta stuffed meatballs. For price comparison, Gin Joint’s cocktails alone cost $10, so you are getting a bargain with the added snack. 

But the Joint can’t top the sweetest deal available: pay what you will. This option is only available at Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot. The Clements Ferry Road restaurant reports on its website, “Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot wants to do something completely different. We are offering a menu with 3 and 4 course options that will feature ‘pay what it’s worth’ pricing. You choose your courses and after dining, you decide what you think it should be priced.” 

So there you go. A little more variety for this latest restaurant week installment.